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Winterberries & Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Yearby Nan Forler
Synopses & Reviews
With an evocative poem for every month of the year, young Naomi introduces us to her family and hosts a journey through the seasonal rhythms of her rural Mennonite community.
In the winter there’s a quilting bee with chattering, friendly women to warm the frigid night, visits to a general store with all its treasures, and the awakening of the sap in the sugar bush. Spring months bring the hard work of clearing the fields and the sweet reward of shoofly pies. Under the hot summer sun there’s home-made ice cream, baseball to play, and a horse-drawn buggy to drive. Then it’s autumn when the shy narrator must help sell produce at the road-ide stand, while she thinks of the snows to come. And all year long there are delicious, child-friendly recipes to make and sample.
The poems and recipes are perfectly complemented by Peter Etril Snyder’s lovely paintings. Winterberries and Apple Blossoms is a beautifully produced book, perfect for gift-giving, or sharing with anyone who appreciates simple, enduring values.
"Naomi, a fictional Mennonite girl, shares the sights, sounds, and seasonal customs of her rural community in 12 evocative poems, one for each month of the year. Simple pleasures and daily responsibilities are at the forefront: maple-sugaring ('I close my eyes/ and breathe in/ the woodburning-mapley-sweet air,/ tasting spring through my nose'), bicycle rides, friendly baseball games, and selling the harvest's bounty ('I lay the vegetables out in rows,/ forming a tabletop garden,/ then tighten my kerchief beneath my chin/ and wait'). Snyder, a painter making his children's book debut, contributes smudgy, sunlit acrylic scenes that convey a close-knit family that works, plays, and prays together. Along with Forler's graceful verse, and recipes for every season, it all adds up to a warm portrait of a community seldom found in the spotlight. All ages." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Born in Elmira, Ontario, Nan Forler has degrees in both music and education. She has taught junior kindergarten through to grade eight for over twenty years. For several years, she ran a cooking school for kids, where she shared her love of seasonal foods with children and their parents. Her first children’s book for Tundra, Bird Child, won many
accolades. Nan Forler lives in Waterloo, Ontario.
Peter Etril Snyder was born in Waterloo, Ontario. He began painting at the age of twelve and attended the Ontario College of Art. In 1969 he began to paint Mennonite life, and since then, he has gained national and international recognition for his art and reproductions. In 1999, Snyder received his Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.
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